Today I helped my aunt make make magic happen. I was giddy as I drove to Grams house, knowing my aunt was on her way down from Wisconsin. She was brining with her a very special surprise. I was giggly inside like it was Christmas morning.
My Grams just celebrated her 90th birthday last month. I help her put out her Christmas things each year, and we both enjoy our (now) tradition of doing so. Even though she has several trees in her retirement home, she has mentioned how she misses sitting and looking at a tree. There is something magical about sitting and watching the twinkling lights and seeing the refection off the ceiling and windows; the glow of it by the drawing evening and the peacefulness it evokes as the memories of Christmases long ago swirl around it unseen.
My aunt decided there was absolutely no reason why she didn’t have a tree other than she hadn’t moved one with her here, and there was no practical reason to “need” it because there were several down the hall. Here’s the thing about that however… There’s no way to sit and let memories swirl as family members come to visit in the stillness of the light bathed tree, if only you can take time alone with it. My grams, you see, is the last of her family line. She is the oldest. She is our matriarch. She has watched everyone she knows go before her, all her siblings and extended family, as well as many good friends. While she knows she’ll one day be greeted by these cherished loved ones, well, she misses them. She misses the traditions, and she misses just sitting and looking back in time, to when she was a girl, anxious for Christmas morning to arrive, and to head out to Christmas services with her best dress on and proudly holding her daddy’s hand.
So this year for Christmas? This year we gave Grandma her memories. We gave her what she cherished most… a chance to travel back in time. Her time machine just happens to look a lot like a little three foot artificially lit tree decorated with special bows and shimmery balls and tinsel.
Christmas is not about what’s practical. Christmas is about finding out how to go about giving the one gift that seems impossible, and then finding a way. Christmas is about magic. It’s about love. It’s about giving. Christmas is based upon one very important gift.
God so loved the world… THIS world, that HE gave his ONE and ONLY son, in the form of a baby, so that He, GOD himself, would know exactly what it was like to breathe, live, crawl, walk, see, smell, love, and loose, just like us. He gave away His only child, to all of us, so that He could know us in a way He never could otherwise. He experienced everything this child, Jesus, did. He delivered unto this world a savior. One that would one day grow into a man so that he could CHOOSE to follow in His father’s footsteps and LOVE us enough, to give HIMSELF away, all so that we, YOU AND ME, might live… forever.
If that is not the ultimate gift, I surely don’t know what is.
Grace was delivered to the world, in the most unexpected of ways, through the birth of a tiny little child one long, lonely night, so long ago in Bethlehem. It is because of this ultimate and amazing gift that we now give gifts to each other, to celebrate the magic and, in some way, to say thank you for that beautiful act of such love from above.
Don’t get me wrong, I like receiving gifts, but oh, by far, it is my greatest joy to be the one finding new ways to creatively recreate magic… To spread the joy of Christ. In each act of giving, if given with the spirit of the first Christmas, a bit of that first holy night is reborn in each of us, as we give ourselves away.
May you be richly blessed over the holidays and remember, you are deeply loved by the One who created you.